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[Accept that God Creates and Causes only good. Overturn the opposite view.]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“God the Only Cause and Creator”
for the week ending December 3, 2017

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041

[SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY! If 500 people give to CedarS this week, we will receive an extra $10,000 Giving Tuesday challenge gift. For more information, see our Giving Tuesday video. For easy ways to give once or monthly, please click here.]

God's goodness is a central theme in this week's amazing lesson about His activity as a creator, as the cause of all reality. For this goodness, we can freely praise and rejoice in our Father-Mother, as the Golden Text affirms. In the Responsive Reading we are told that the man that God "choosest" is blessed. But in context we find that we are all this "man". As Eugene Peterson puts it in The Message in the verse preceding Ps 65:4…"We all arrive at your doorstep sooner or later…" In this sense we are all the chosen of God, He made each and every one of us. When we "arrive at His doorstep", that is, when we mentally reach out toward Him, ready to drop a false view of ourselves, it is then that His goodness is revealed to us. This is where we find satisfaction (RR), joy, the beauty of spiritual creation that is permanent—unchanging in goodness and peace, harmony and health, life and usefulness. The poetry of the rest of this Responsive Reading sets the tone for this lesson that is threaded with songs of thanksgiving from the Psalms. God truly prepares the soil, waters, tends, and finally, crowns His creation with goodness.

Section 1: We are all promised the "…land flowing with milk and honey."

Maybe this does not appear to be the case in your life right now. Perhaps it seems the very opposite! Stick with this lesson; see how the Scriptures and their Key reveal a deeper abundance and goodness that matter does not necessarily reflect. Throughout this lesson we have verses from Psalm 107: 1, 8, 15, 21, and 31. Psalm 107:1 is identical to Psalm 106:1 (B18). But all the other verses are identical to one another: "Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" [“Pay your bill! Praise God!” This is how Cobbey Crisler sees this repeated refrain in W’s PS#1.] This appears much in the way that a musical refrain might appear in a song. In the New Revised Standard Version (the Harper Collins Study Bible) it is pointed out that each time this verse is repeated it is linked to thanksgiving for a different way in which God is supplying goodness to man. In this section verse 8 of this Psalm is linked to giving thanks for those who are delivered from thirst or starvation. This melds nicely with the passages that follow, rich in symbolism about gardens springing with righteousness, praise and fruit (B3 and B4). And as well, it blends with those from Exodus in which Moses is promised a land flowing with milk and honey—another symbol of God's rich provision for man, in terms of food and drink.

We all experience periods of our life, where things do not seem very milk and honeyish. Material life is really a shadow of that which God has bestowed on us. We are told that this is the case in citation B1, God made everything good. In order to see the fact of this spiritually good creation we must start by considering the reasonableness that God would not make something to oppose Him, to ruin this creation. Why would Good make evil to resist and destroy the beauty, harmony, abundance, and loveliness of His good creation. If He didn't create evil, then it would either spring from an opposing source (and then God is not omnipotent Good), or, evil cannot be the substantial force that it appears to be. Here Mrs. Eddy steps in with this statement from citation S3: "All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause, and effect belong to God….No wisdom is wise but His wisdom; no truth is true, no love is lovely, no life is Life but the divine; no good is, but the good God bestows." We are asked here to set out on a search for the facts, the truth, the reality of being. This is another present thread in this lesson that, when recognized, leads us to a much fuller and more beautiful, not to mention accurate, view of God's creation. This is the land of milk and honey that is promised to all His children.

Section 2: We recognize the presence of peace through spiritual living and "…an all-absorbing spiritual love".

In this section we have the story of Asa, who, we are told, followed God's will, took down the idols and places where people worshipped other gods, and was given rest, peace, during his reign. So, it would seem that we are being told that if we mind our "p's and q's", God will reward us with peace/harmony. The problem with this view is, that then we are implying that if we aren't experiencing abundance, peace, health, harmony…then we must be doing something wrong. The passages from Science and Health in this section forcefully refute this claim. "Science and peace" are the facts which present themselves to a consciousness that subordinates the "false testimony of the material senses" (S6 and S7). Isaiah's prophecy about the wolf and lamb lying down together (B12) came in the midst of the Babylonian exile, a time of great trial and disappointment to the Jews. When we are experiencing a trial like that, it would be wonderful to be able to bear witness to evidence of great harmony. Citation B13 tells us "be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." The New Living Translation phrases it this way: "Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you." This "God of love and peace" is actually with us always, even in the midst of war, hatred, disease. And so it is that we are encouraged through Science to engage our spiritual senses and behold the power and presence of God's goodness. Citation S6 states: "This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace." "Let us learn of the real and eternal, and prepare for the reign of Spirit, the kingdom of heaven—the reign and rule of universal harmony, which cannot be lost nor remain forever unseen." (S9) Jesus told us that the kingdom of heaven is within. What can keep us from experiencing that kingdom? Certainly there are "conflicting forces" that would argue convincingly, that some circumstances are beyond our ability to counter with this kind of thought. There are also stories without number, of people finding peace in the midst of war and conflict, disease and inharmony. Some of these stories are modern day, others are from past conflicts, and yet others are sprinkled throughout the Scriptures. Our "ability" to find that peace is from God and is not based on "how good a Christian Scientist" or "how good a Christian" we are. It is based on the goodness of God, and the fact that everything evil is ultimately powerless because it is not from God. At times, there may be slim evidence of this goodness, but that is based on temporary, material sense testimony. Asa didn't cause a reign of harmony. This story is about "taking away" the "high places", the idols that material sense testimony tells us are true, and that charge God with either tolerating or causing evil. Like Asa, we too can tear down that which opposes God's goodness in our consciousness. We can place God on the throne of our thought. Mrs. Eddy tells us in citation S11 "Spiritual living and blessedness are the only evidences by which we can recognize true existence and feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love." (Italics added)

Section 3: God blesses man with health. [See W’s PS#1, PS#2, PS#3, PS#4.]

God blesses His creation with health. The woman with the issue of blood in this section might have been called cursed by society. She certainly would have felt cursed. Here in citation B14 we have another verse of Psalm 107 declaring God's praiseworthiness because of the goodness and the wonderful things He does for His children. [PS#1 again] How would hemorrhage be a reflection of His goodness? This particular verse is thought to be giving thanks specifically for the deliverance from a disease that has brought one close to death. Certainly this woman would have felt such gratitude for Jesus' blessing on her! Once again we are encouraged to dismiss the false suggestion that we have a disease because of something we might have done wrong, thought wrong, inherited "wrong", or some such material "law". And once again Mrs. Eddy refutes this "law" by pointing out the illogic of God/Good causing man to be sick. "It would be contrary to our highest ideas of God to suppose Him capable of first arranging law and causation so as to bring about certain evil results, and then punishing the helpless victims of His volition for doing what they could not avoid doing. Good is not, cannot be, the author of experimental sins. God, good, can no more produce sickness than goodness can cause evil and health occasion disease." (S14) The fact that sickness is derived from material belief (S17) is encouraging because it informs us that we are not dealing with reality, but with changeable, human belief! This statement is followed by the memorable command from citation S18: "Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man." It is God's power that makes us able to resist the suggestions of material sense. We don't have to be "good enough", we are made by God, complete, capable and blessed.

Section 4: Salvation and life are the gift of God. [PS#5 & online Skit Download above]

In this final example of God's blessing on His creation, we find a woman raised from the dead. Tabitha was a woman known for her good works and alms deeds. She was someone who lived to bless others. Today she might be seen working at soup kitchens, visiting the sick or providing a meal for a needy family. Rather than simply mourn her death, those followers of Christ that were with her, reached out to Peter who was in a nearby town. They were insisting that this generosity of spirit could not be so abruptly cut off. As followers of Jesus, and all that he taught, their thought was expecting to see God's goodness in action. And so they did. Once again though, this story is not to be seen in the light of Tabitha's goodness making her especially worthy of saving. Citation B21 states that "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" When we spend our days in unselfish living, we tend to experience the harmony of the kingdom of heaven, because that is the lense through which we are looking (spiritual sense). Goodness is eternal and we can see this demonstrated in some degree right here. Whenever we refuse to accept death as a final sentence and recognize that life is the only gift that God could bestow on a creation that is made in His image, we are living eternal life. God ever lives, so man must reflect Life and being. Believing somehow that we are rewarded by our good works with a long material existence, is one of those "material systems" that Mrs. Eddy insists we forsake in citation S19. We can demonstrate eternal living by degrees as we begin to understand that the Creator never put life in matter, nor takes life from matter. Matter is not His creation. It can be tempting to ask, when someone wonderful passes from our experience: "Why did they die when they were such a good person/such an amazing Christian Scientist/…" The kind of eternal life that Jesus promises those who follow him is not eternal material existence. "If we wish to follow Christ, Truth, it must be in the way of God's appointing." (S19) We can ask ourselves "what am I trying to achieve in life?" If it is a wholly spiritual endeavor and we are conscious of the spiritual nature of whatever work we are doing, then we are already living in eternity. Nothing can take away from the permanence of that work and life. This kind of living is sustained by Life and is the gift that we are each given as God's children. "Sin, sickness, disease, and death belong not to the Science of being. They are the errors, which presuppose the absence of Truth, Life, or Love." Our ever-loving Creator would not make or cause that which denies His goodness.

Section 5: "…the only facts are Spirit and its innumerable [and good] creations." [Bracketed, italicized words added along with PS#1 and PS#6]

Throughout this lesson we have been learning of the facts or truth of God's creation. This truth does not support a picture of man as war-torn, diseased, even dying or dead. We can go ahead and sing, and "make a joyful noise" to God. Because what He makes is always good. In the very first chapter of Genesis he merely spoke the word and it was done. Nothing was formed from something "else". And this good spiritual creation "stood fast" (B23 and PS#6). It endures today and includes each one of us. It is not God's conceptions that need to be elevated, healed, corrected, raised. Rather, it is as Mrs. Eddy says: "The conceptions of mortal, erring thought…." that "must give way to the ideal of all that is perfect and eternal." (S25) And she tells us that our own human beliefs will gain a diviner sense of conception until we see our 'conceptions' lining up with God's perfect conception of man as wholly reflecting God, wholly good.

Click here for Warren Huff’s additions of insights by Cobbey Crisler on some citations in the Christian Science Bible Lesson for December 3, 2017.

[Again, SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY! If 500 people give to CedarS this week, we will receive an extra $10,000 Giving Tuesday challenge gift. For more information, see our Giving Tuesday video. For easy ways to give once or monthly, please click here.]

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[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned endowment gifts are a HUGE help and are greatly needed and appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support.

[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/

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